Thursday, August 13, 2015

Our New Water Feature

Williamsport, IN

No, not that! LOL! This one:

It took awhile, but Rick finally got it done. He just wasn't sure how he wanted to do the rocks. But I think he did a great job. We had to buy a new pump and filter so we could get the kind of flow and sound that we wanted. It is just like being in the woods along a creek. I love it!

There are several more places to put plants, but I will work on that in the spring. (I don't like moving perennials in the summer.) I am going to put more irises along the back, add a climbing rose on the back of the garage, and also window boxes. Check back next spring!

Our old cat Sam (short for Samantha - 17 years old) now has a favorite spot when she's outside. She lies here most of the day. She must like the heat of the rock.

We have been having really great weather here lately. Sunny, not too hot or humid. I've been getting more weeding done and the yard is looking pretty good. We could use a little rain, but considering California's situation, I'm not going to complain:)

Sweet fat cat Loyal.

I hope everyone  has a good weekend. We are going canoeing. Yeah!

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Small Sewing Projects

Sometimes, when I'm working on a big quilt, I need to take a break and make a small, quick project. Or in this case, several. Ah, instant gratification!

First is a little needlebook made from a tutorial from ASpoonful of Sugar. I had just bought a few fat quarters of this pretty fabric and thought it would be perfect for this.

Another needlebook, this time in linen and some Lynette Anderson fabric. I guess I was in the mood to make hexagons:) I got the patch idea from Amy at nanaCompany.

And speaking of Amy, I just love her new book Sweetly Stitched Handmades. As soon as I got it, I made this cute hot pad.

I think it is too pretty to actually put gooey hot pans on, don't you? For now I just have it on the kitchen counter to admire when I walk by.

Can you believe it's August already? School will be starting soon. But guess what? I'm not going back! At least not this year. I feel the need to be close to home, able to help out my family when they need me, doing the homemaking things I love, and taking care of the paperwork for my husband's business. I will also be taking some time to rest and recoup. Sometimes we just need to step back, slow down, and take a breath. Make sure you take the time for yourself too!

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Tad is 4!

A couple of weeks ago, Tad turned 4. Can you believe it? He's such a big boy and so sweet. (And when he says, "I love you, Grandma", my heart just melts:) He had a pirate themed party with family and friends. Andrew did some great cooking, and Alison made a ship cake, treats and decorated the house. She is so creative! Everything was so cute.

We knew Tad really didn't need anymore toys, so Rick made him a picnic table just his size. He had made one when Andrew and his brothers were little and we got a lot of use out of it. I'm sure Tad and the twins will too. (I want Rick to make another one for our yard. The old one is long gone:)

The twins will be celebrating their 1st birthday next month. I can't wait to see what kind of party Alison comes up with for them!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Back Porch Redo

Back in June of 2011 I did a post about our screened-in back porch. It has basically been the same since we added it on to the house in 1997.

We liked it, except for that tile which has driven me crazy since day one. We chose unglazed tile because it looked so good in the store, but in reality it was not a good choice for a floor exposed to the elements. It stained easily and every year we had to strip and retreat it. Arrrr... I was done!

So we chose a pretty ceramic tile in a mottled cream. Rick did the install.(We thought about having it done, but do you know how hard it is to get a good installer? I've got one right here:) Anyway, after he put it in we just had to continue with a redecoration. And this is how it turned out:

After A LOT of painting we love how it turned out! It is brighter and cleaner looking. I still have those old cushions,but I plan on replacing those next year when there are more choices in the stores. Though I might look online to get something more to my liking.

In other news, my hubby is recuperating from skin cancer surgery. The surgeon took out an extra big chunk to get it all, so it's more than a little painful. But I think he is feeling better because he is getting restless and ready to get back to work. Good news, I'd say!

Monday, July 6, 2015

The Garden This Week

I usually say that June is the best month for our gardens. But this year it looks like July will be. We had a very wet and mostly cool June and some flowers held off blooming. But, oh my, the yard is bright with monarda, lilies, roses, coneflower and many others. Here are a few examples:

A different view of the garden border looking toward the house.

The west side of the shed, in shade, but full of color.
I have no idea what this lily's name is, but the yellow flower in there is basket flower, a perennial variety of centaurea (bachelor button.)

Tiger Lily

Sitting area near the pond.

Part of the herb garden. Gotta love larkspur and calendula for easy color!

The newest bed in the side yard. I think I will move those monarda -  too tall for this spot.

Even though we have many garden beds, and can be a lot of work in the spring, right now it's not too bad. I try to get to the weeds early in the season, so that by midsummer I just have to go through each bed every other week or so. And I usually like to do the weeding. It can be relaxing. Though I have to say that the mosquitoes are driving us crazy right now, so doing anything in the yard takes preparation (bug spray, long sleeves, etc.) Yuck! Not so relaxing:)

I hope everyone had a great 4th! We had a wonderful party with friends and family. Lots of swimming, eating, and laughing. But I just wasn't taking pictures. Too busy having a good time, I guess!

Monday, June 29, 2015

No So Lazy Summer

Well, this has not been a lazy summer, at least not yet. I keep coming up with projects for the house and yard. And I can't just do them myself. I say, "I've got an idea." And my husband says, "What now." But really, he is usually happy to indulge me and comes up with pretty good ideas of his own. I will be sharing the two big projects soon.

This has been my evening work for many weeks now. The plates are made from scraps and I love how it turned out. Though it will be quite awhile before I'm done quilting it.

Up until a few days ago, doing any kind of needlework was difficult with our foster kitty, Bolt, around. He would jump, bat, bite, etc. any time I moved my hand. Thankfully he is settling down a little. And we have gotten very creative finding things around the house for him to play with besides my thread and yarn. His favorite is a thread spool. I wonder why?

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Busy Spring = Lazy Summer

HI! Sorry I've been absent, but May was a very busy month for us and I'm just now catching my breath. We had two anniversaries (ours - 34 years! and our son and daughter-in law -8 years), our son Andrew's 31st birthday, and  Mother's Day. We also hosted a moving-away dinner for an old friend of ours.

Of course, the gardens took a lot of time to get cleaned up and planted. I can't even count the number of times I went to various garden centers. I also started quite a few plants and had them in the greenhouse getting big and healthy. Everything is in the ground now and I will spend the rest of the summer maintaining, weeding, and harvesting fruits and veggies.

We had a really good time when our oldest son, Justin, visited for 10 days. We had several family dinners, went out to eat, and spent a day at a state park.

Tad loves being with his Uncle Justin!

Then, after Justin left, school wrapped up. I was so ready, but it was very emotional because I won't be going back to that school. The little girl I was with for 2 years is going to another school next year and I have no idea if I will be with her again. I will really miss her! She was such an affectionate thing and we got close. She was starting to talk, and read, and become much more independent. (Gotta stop, I'm tearing up:(

But I have my sweet grandsons. Jasper, the dark one, is starting to crawl, and Klaus is close behind. Tad's 4th birthday is this month. I'm getting together with my niece to go shopping at a scrapbook store in Illinois. And there is the quilting, knitting and misc. crafting. More than enough to keep me occupied!

Oh, I almost forgot. We also have this little guy to take care -

Justin went to a dinner party hosted by friends from high school and they had several kittens needing homes. He called and asked if we would take care of one until he moved in August. Of course I said yes. We love cats! But we haven't had a kitten in many years and he's so rambunctious! And I've got the scratches to prove it:) But Von Humboldt is growing on us. Yes, that's his name!